“President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency Thursday, the same week Walgreens announced it would start selling Narcan — a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose — at its pharmacies throughout the country. Both moves come at a time when 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose each day, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. -Time Magazine
We’ll never understand why the controversy behind this “life-saving” medication after facing the worst drug-related epidemic since the crack cocaine epidemic in the ’80s and ’90s! Seemed the stigma of addiction literally created a panic in America when Narcan was set to hit the shelves in major pharmacies across the United Stated vs only emergency rooms and first responders (paramedics) did have on hand to jump-start the heart with a charcoal base to clean the opioid out of your system!
How did this happen in America? We all have a few conspiracy theories…
We’ll just take some notes from – The National Institute of Drug Abuse
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.3,4 Opioid overdose rates began to increase. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.1 That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).5
What do we know about the opioid crisis?
- Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.6
- Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder.6
- An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.7–9
- About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.7
- Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states.10
- The Midwestern region saw opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 through September 2017.10
- Opioid overdoses in large cities increase by 54 percent in 16 states.10
The quarterly rate of suspected opioid overdose, by US region
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.10
This issue has become a public health crisis with devastating consequences including increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome due to opioid use and misuse during pregnancy. The increase in injection drug use has also contributed to the spread of infectious diseases including HIV and hepatitis C. As seen throughout the history of medicine, science can be an important part of the solution in resolving such a public health crisis.
Here we are 2020 almost every American knows someone who suffered or is suffering from addiction and a large percentage are addicted to opioids! How many are with us today, are clean and sober because of Narcan at the height of that addiction? The numbers are staggering!
What about the current addict using these horrible drugs, and they just can’t stop right now, don’t feel they deserve a sober life or are afraid of getting “dope sick” which is an awful withdrawal process? Aren’t they worth saving? We the people did create this epidemic and if someone can obtain Narcan without being left for dead in front of a hospital, or dying in your own bedroom? Having this tool is a weapon of sorts to give that addict hope that they got that second chance and maybe…just maybe that will be the day they don’t die! The day they decide they can’t do this alone, someone must have a greater plan for them as they woke up from the dead! Narcan is NOT giving addicts creative license to use this over and over to come back from an overdose, but a needed accessible life-saving method until they get well and into treatment or …we all know the other outcomes!
When purchased at the pharmacy, many people get Narcan for free due to the common $0 co-pay. But individuals without insurance may be able to get Narcan for free as well. Yes, Narcan can be free.
Anyone can purchase NARCAN® Nasal Spray directly from a pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription. All major pharmacy chains (such as CVS, Walgreen’s, and RiteAid) stock NARCAN® Nasal Spray, so it’s convenient for you to obtain today. Download the prescription request aid and present it to your pharmacist to obtain NARCAN® Nasal Spray today.
In memory of all, we’ve as a nation lost to this epidemic